While we are without a priest please contact the church office on 01206 30 23 78 or brightlingseaparish@btconnect.com

General news

August News

The great news is that Jesus is risen from the dead!

London Community Gospel Choir Sat 13th Oct 7.30 St James

Yes! After the very successful Gospel Workshop on 28th July led by their conductor Rev’d Bazil Meade, we have a section of these internationally-renowned professional Gospel Singers and their supporting band coming to St James on Sat 13th Oct at 7.30! Tickets are available from Spirals (Victoria Place) or from Judith Gibbons on  07889 99 53 59. The tickets are £20 each (no concessions) and are already selling very quickly. Not to be missed.

The Return of the Native  From now on you can once again read The Native! We’re calling it the ‘Return of the Native’. (If you know anything about Thomas Hardy that will make you smile). Click here:  Aug 2018 Native

If you wish to hire St James please contact Administrator Sue Wills at the Parish Office (in St James) on 01206 30 23 78 or email  her at brightlingseaparish@btconnect.com The rate of hire is £15.00 per hour

The ‘Holy Mowers’ meet on Thursday mornings 10.00-12.30 with a half-hour break for coffee. Come as often and for as long as you want. The churchyard looks as it has never looked before! Contact Sheila Crowe (pictured below) on 30 65 74. On Sat 17th Feb at 11.00 instead of working at All Saints we will be tidying up around St James for an hour or so. Please bring gardening gloves and a spade, fork and other gardening implements. You could come for coffee or breakfast (8.30 til 10.00) beforehand if you like!

We are now past the longest day and heading rapidly towards the end of the year. Early in the  season we were grumbling about the constant rain and cold, now it’s too hot and dry. We are never satisfied. The very hot weather has stopped the grass growing (but not the weeds) and it’s a sorry brown colour, but it has meant that the Holy Mowers have managed to get on top of the long grass areas, and the churchyard looks amazing. We see huge numbers of butterflies enjoying the
sunshine, and we have to remember to put out a dish of water for wildlife. We had a really interesting evening in June at a Bat Watch identifying various species by the sounds and frequencies they use. In the porch at All Saints’ we have three species of bats; the Pipistrelles, the Soprano Pipistrelles and the Large Eared Brown Bat. Watching hundreds of bats pour out of the porch after sunset was really exciting for all the people watching. Whilst we were watching the bats a young Peregrine Falcon was seen landing on the Tower of the church. We are aware that there is a breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons on Jumbo in Colchester. For the second year they have successfully reared their chicks which subsequently fledged; so we are hoping that we can attract a
pair to make their nesting site at All Saints’. The Peregrine is a large and powerful falcon; one of
the fastest animals in the world. Reaching speeds of 300kmph as they plunge from the sky after prey, they hunt pigeons, small ducks and wading birds. They are here all year round, and
they like undisturbed inaccessible locations. Their nest is a scrape of earth or gravel or old nest debris. They are beautiful to look at. Having moved the portaloo behind the church and surrounded it with wooden panels, we have put tubs containing clematis, honeysuckle, lavender, fuchsias and
a climbing rose. It is all growing well and next year it should look spectacular. An attractive essential. To improve our information for visitors to All Saints’, we would like to identify all the
species of trees we have in the churchyard. This needs to be done in September before the leaves change. If anyone could help me with this, I would be very grateful. Sheila Crowe

Brightlingsea Refugee Support Network evolved from the despair of watching
desperate men, women and children fleeing the bombs and bullets of Syria in 2015.
At first it was a coming together of a small group of friends determined to raise funds
in an effort to help. This quickly grew into a voluntary organisation whose aims
included supporting the resettlement of two or three Syrian families in Brightlingsea.
This sounded like a crazy idea when first suggested and we had many doubts but
gradually, working together, sharing ideas and being determined, this aim was
There are now two families in Brightlingsea who have resettled here as part of the
Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme – part of David Cameron’s 20,000.
Fund raising continues to be an important part of what we do. Local people have
been very generous in donating raffle and tombola prizes for stalls at local events,
many enjoyed a fund-raising Indian meal last year, helped out with collections and
made individual donations – we have really appreciated all of this.
The money raised has been used in a variety of ways. When first arriving in the UK
both families were housed in privately rented accommodation which was very
basically furnished and equipped by the local authority through the Overseas
Development Fund. BRSN supplied some of the ‘extras’ which make a house a
home. We provided TVs and the first year’s TV licence, toys for the children, bikes,
children’s clothes, and welcome packs of food and toiletries. We upgraded the
mattress in one of the homes, bought toppers for the children’s beds, helped with
childcare costs while parents had English lessons, and so on. Some local businesses
have helped too, for example laptops for each family were donated. Our finances
are in a reasonable state but we are aware that now we are supporting two families
we cannot sit back so several events are organised for the rest of the year.
But it’s not all about money. Befriending is equally important and valued. We help
with transport when needed, accompany parents to early doctors’ appointments,
give lifts to the shops and to visit family members living in the region, organise play
dates for the children and lots more – all the usual things that friends do for each
other. We are rewarded by frequent and sincere thanks, watching the parents
rebuilding their lives in safety, thriving children and gifts of delicious Syrian snacks!
Actually I believe the biggest reward for all of us is the friendship of the families.
The family who arrived almost two years ago are now settled happily into the
community. The two older children love school and have excellent English with a
delightful Essex accent! The local infant school have been wonderfully supportive.
Mum and Dad’s English is almost as good as the children’s now and Dad is currently
working on passing his driving test which will help in his efforts to find employment.
Dad plays football regularly for a town Pub team and I have heard he is a regular
goal scorer.
Arriving just two months ago, the second family are still adjusting to their new life.
The adults start English lessons in Colchester next term and the two eldest children
start Nursery very soon. Both these are vital in the process of integrating into their
new community. I know the parents are grateful for all the help they have already
been given.
If you see either of the families around town, please say hello – it would mean a lot
to them. They are, after all, doing what we all do, trying to give their children the
best life they can; for them that means a place free of the appalling violence war
has brought to their once beautiful country.
May I take this opportunity to offer my personal appreciation of the amazing
kindness shown by many Brightlingsea residents. Thank You!
Helena Nwaokolo, on behalf of Brightlingsea Refugee Support Network